Thursday, April 12, 2012

Film appreciators will be enticed by the Gulf Film Festival’s special segment termed ‘Lights’. This section includes 21 films that aims to capture the distinct perspectives in film-making from the Arab world. GFF Daily caught up with two filmmakers from the segment.


Inspired from relationships, life and death, Saudi Arabian producer and scriptwriter, MuhammedAlbasha screens his sixth movie, Ne’alAlMarhoom (The Dead Man’s Sandal) at the 5th edition of the festival.

“It is about different relationships that goes through various stages. It is symbolic of a family whose life is changed after their grandfather’s death,” said Albasha. The movie captures a family’s period of mourning over the dead of their patriarch. His sandal becomes a reminiscing object for the lineage as a ghost haunts them and they sense a connection turning their mourning into absolute fright.

A low budget film shot with Canon 5D equipment, the actors of the movie consist of friends and movie enthusiasts, who are close to the filmmaker. MuhammedAlbasha believes that Gulf Film Festival is where the family of filmmakers comes together and gains knowledge from the ever-evolving industry ethics and standards.

Catch the film @ Grand Festival Cinemas #10 Saturday, 14 April: 18:30 – 19:47


Muhammed Salman is a multi-faceted Saudi Arabian filmmaker who successfully showcases a riveting tale motivated by a personal experience in his film Al Sikal (Bicycle).

“We live in the Gulf and our culture extends from Iraq to the Emirates. But the people in Saudi have a unique accent and cultural ideology. I want to show this difference,” said Salman as he has translated distinctive aspects of the Islamic culture into his work.

The Bicycle is a simple story between two central characters, and how their relationship grows deeper. The child is in his adolescence and shares a strong bonding with his uncle, and how he sees the representation of love, only in materialistic things. Shot in Canon 7D, the entire movie was made using the most basic equipment. The director finds that Saudi Arabia’s censorship laws are restricting his creativity while making films, for “they do not believe in cinema or music”, but he takes it up as a challenge to produce intriguing films furthur.

Catch the film @ Grand Festival Cinemas #10 Friday, 13 April: 18: 30 – 19:47

By Heena Makhijani